Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Heartburn and Its Effect on Oral Health

Heartburn, also known as acid indigestion, is basically the problem of acid being regurgitated in chest. The sensation occurs when acid in the stomach comes up in the esophagus. It can be a rare issue, especially when you overeat. However, it can also be the symptom of a bigger issue which is called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

You may consider this problem as something minor but you need to keep in mind that this very issue can negatively impact your oral health in pretty bad way.

Damage to your teeth
Yes you heard it right; heartburn can damage your dental health. Heartburn is basically a process of tissues in esophagus getting damaged due to presence of acid. And, it may be a surprise for you that these acids can travel far to reach your mouth. Here, you need to keep one thing in mind that tooth enamel is strong but it is not strong enough to resist the acid coming from your stomach.

In case of acid reflux, you saliva becomes acidic. This acidic saliva interacts with the teeth, leading to the dissolution of your tooth enamel. This process of dissolution is also known as dental erosion.

When dental erosion starts, the first thing you would feel is the sensitivity to sweet, hot and cold foods. When the problem escalates and erosion becomes visible, it can result in discoloration and cracks and chips on teeth’s surface.

The worst case in this regard is associated with the lack of sensation while suffering from indigestion. In this scenario, you are basically unaware of the high pH of your saliva while it interacts with your teeth. Hence, you may start getting dental problems due to this disorder without you even knowing about it. In that case, your dentist may be the person to let you know that you have GERD.

Things you can do in this regard
Although enamel is very strong, it’s the dead part of the human body. It means that it cannot grow back after getting eroded. Hence, your teeth will be exposed to decay on permanent basis after getting damaged due to acid reflux. One of the options you can consider in this regard is reconstructive dentistry.

In case you think you are suffering from GERD, you first need to talk to your dentist. Sometimes, your dentist can help you get rid of GERD which is the issue related purely to overall health. And even if you are getting its treatment from your health physician, your dentist needs to know about the status of this disorder.